RPT-EU agrees ban on BASF pesticide over bee health fears

BRUSSELS, July 16 Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:41am EDT

BRUSSELS, July 16 (Reuters) - European Union governments agreed on Tuesday to ban most uses of a pesticide made by German chemical firm BASF, adding it to an EU blacklist of substances suspected of playing a role in declining bee populations.

Under the restrictions, which will take effect from Dec. 31, the insecticide fipronil will no longer be authorised for use as a treatment on maize and sunflower seeds for sowing, the European Commission said.

"A Commission proposal to restrict the use of fipronil, an insecticide which has recently been identified as posing an acute risk to Europe's honey bee population, was backed by member state experts meeting today," the Commission said in a statement. (Reporting by Charlie Dunmore; editing by Claire Davenport)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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